What Clubfoot and Its Treatments Look Like

Club Foot Basics

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Newborn with Club Foot

Clubfoot is a common disorder in which one or both of a baby's feet are turned inward and downward and can't easily be moved into a normal position. It is much more common for a baby to have a foot turned inward due to positioning, but these feet are very flexible and can easily be straightened with gentle manipulation. Newborns with a club foot are often treated with bracing, physical therapy, casting, or surgery.

In this photo, you can see a newborn baby with a club foot or clubbing of his left foot. You can tell the foot is clubbed by how the foot is turned inward and downward.

This baby, in addition to clubbing of the left foot, has VACTERL association, a non-random grouping of abnormalities affecting newborns. According to the CDC, this may include vertebral dysgenesis, anal defect, cardiac anomalies, tracheoesophageal fistulae, esophageal atresia, radial limb and renal anomalies.

Reproduced from the CDC Public Health Image Library.

2
Baby With Clubfoot

A Newborn Baby with a Clubfoot
Club Foot Pictures A Newborn Baby with a Clubfoot. Vincent Iannelli, MD

This is a photo of a newborn baby with a clubfoot. Although you can't tell from this photo, both feet are affected by the clubfoot deformity, causing them to turn inward and downward.

3
Baby with Clubfeet

Baby with Clubfeet
Club Foot Pictures Baby with Clubfeet. Vincent Iannelli, MD

In this photo, you can see a newborn baby in the NICU with a bilateral clubfoot. You can tell it is a bilateral clubfoot both since both feet are turned inward and downward.

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Club Foot Casting Treatment

Club Foot Casting Treatment
Club Foot Pictures Club Foot Casting Treatment. Vincent Iannelli, MD

This photo shows a two-month-old infant in casts to treat their bilateral clubfoot deformity.

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Casting for Club Foot

Casting for Club Foot
Club Foot Pictures Casting for Club Foot. Vincent Iannelli, MD

This is a photo of a two-month-old infant with a bilateral clubfoot deformity who is being treated with casting.

Using the Ponseti method, the clubfoot is manipulated or stretched every five to seven days and the plaster casts are changed. This baby is on one of his last treatments for his clubfeet and will then wear a brace for a few years.

An alternative to serial casting is a specialized physical therapy treatment program, in which your child undergoes daily stretching and has their clubfoot taped by a physical therapist. Once you are trained and ready, you can begin taping your child's foot at home. 

When non-surgical treatments with casting and taping don't work, surgery is sometimes necessary to correct the clubfoot.

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Clubfoot Treatment 'After' Photo

Clubfoot Treatment 'After' Photo
Club Foot Pictures Clubfoot Treatment 'After' Photo. Vincent Iannelli, MD

This is a photo of an infant with bilateral clubfeet who has just had several months of casting treatment using the Ponseti method. He will still have to undergo daily bracing for most of the day for many months, but his feet look great!

In addition to his clubfoot, you can see that he has also developed an umbilical hernia. Unlike clubfoot, umbilical hernias typically go away on their own and do not need any treatment.

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Bracing Bar for Clubfoot

Bracing Bar for Clubfoot
Club Foot Pictures Bracing Bar for Clubfoot. Vincent Iannelli, MD

This is a photo of an infant in a Denis Browne bracing bar after undergoing months of casting using the Ponseti method as a treatment for his bilateral club feet.

This child will have to wear the bracing bar for 23 hours a day for about three months and then only at night for two to four years.

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